Round the world in 193 Days - The Kelly Lang Experience travel blog

Just me, a luxury bus, and the green of the DR

True life - I want to go to Samana

The road to Las Galeras is paved with . . . well,...

Welcome to Villa Serena

Emotions running high as I take in the sweet ocean air from...

Looks fake. But it's not.

Hey there little island, I'm gonna swim to you against my better...

Making my way to the beach through the finely kept landscape

Almost there

Can you feel that sunshine?

Very grrrrrr, baby!

Rethinking the whole swim to the island thing

Who's happy about Samana? This guy

Stone steps to the water, don't mind if I do.


Two more days of this. I think I can handle it.

I think God was punishing me this morning for not being religious because the church bells for the 6:30am mass chimed ceaselessly and sounded like they were in my bathroom. I pushed through it though, as any good sleeper does, and managed to drift back to unconsciousness with a church chorus lullaby that followed the bells. By 8:30am I was ready to face the day. I went out to the main hostel area and ran into a woman from Germany named Yelena. She, much like me, was interested in the fruit extravaganza that typically occurred between 8 and 10am, but strangely no one was around. After 5 minutes of indecision, we decided we had better go it alone if we wanted sustenance this morn. She knew of a nearby bakery and so we headed to the door to leave. A giant padlock blocked our way and I was pretty sure that at any moment some mass murderer was going to jam a needle in the side of our necks and take us down to the basement to be tortured with all the other guests he was holding. With nerves of steel, however, I knocked on the main office door and roused the then sleeping owner. He groggily awoke to let us out and out bakery mission was back on track. The heladeria served me one of the largest ham & cheese croissants I had ever seen but it was still no match for my mouth. Time was tight since I needed to get to the bus station by ten so I had the hostel owner call a cab and then went on my way. My cab driver, a lad named Fausto, was a delight to ride with and after telling him I was going to the airport on Wednesday, he told me to call him and he’d give me a deal. Making friends in Spanish, aww yeah.

I arrived at the Caribe Tours bus station and bought a ticket that would prove to be well worth the $8.25. I stepped on this luxury air conditioned coach and took my choice of one of the many business class style seats. These babies reclined to an almost flat position and had a footrest comparable to an easy chair. The bus ride was nothing short of delightful. There were two stops and each one was a total of about 30 seconds. People had told me the trip by bus was 3.5 to 4 hours and we made it in 2.5. I almost didn’t want it to end I was so thoroughly enjoying the scenery and my book on tape. I found my taxi driver immediately and we (Lamerto and I) headed to the hotel. The first half of the road to Las Galeras (the town my hotel was in) was nothing short of crap so it took about 20 minutes to go 10 miles. The last half was a breeze though and I even saw a donkey on the side of the road. Naturally, I yelled “burro!” rolling the double ‘r’ to the best of my ability. Lamberto laughed and parroted my comment.

Then we arrived. Holy nice! My inner monologue sang, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” as I walked through the entryway and saw the view. My room wasn’t to shab either so to celebrate I took some headshots to send back to the parents. “Perhaps,” I thought, “one of these can replace the 1999 senior photos from high school that seem to be permanent fixtures on mantles across America.” Only time will tell. Once my vanity subsided, I had a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter (in Spanish it’s mantquilla de maines and it’s a phrase that is worth it’s weight in gold) and then made a decision to, despite the fact that I hate swimming, swim to a small island that was about ¾ of a mile off shore. It was a solid journey and there were really only a couple times when I thought, “This is too far. . . I’m gonna die . . . I’m gonna wash up on shore like on that last episode of Sopranos. . . this is too far.” Against all odds, I made it and after some exploring, it was time to head back. This time I took it pretty easy and probably looked like a big fairy as I formlessly backstroked it home. No matter though, CAUSE IT’S A PRIVATE BEACH. No big deal.

I ended the night by getting back to my book on tape while swaying from side to side in the hammock on my balcony. The warm breeze stroked my face as I drifted left to right, right to left, and the sound of the ocean waves made a nice backdrop to the spoken words in my headphones. Man am I glad I came to Samana.

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